Friday, April 18, 2014

Tencel Short-Cut for Flushable Wipes

The nonwoven wipes market was a target for Tencel product development from the start in the late '80's.  Since then it has grown steadily and now consumes around a million tonnes of fibres, about half of which are man-made cellulosics.

Courtaulds Research installed a Neue Bruderhaus wet-lay system to feed short-cut Tencel into a Honeycomb hydroentangler in the late 1980's and upgraded this to a high-pressure Perfojet (now Andritz) hydroentanglement system in the early '90's.  The flushable nature of lightly fibrillated and entangled wet-laid short-cut Tencel was discovered at that time. Commercialisation commenced C H Dexter (Windsor Locks) in 1991 and continued with Ahlstrom-Lystil (now Suominen) in 1994.  The recent Lenzing press release (below) continues the story.

TENCEL® fiber with a “flushable” function

Wednesday, 09. April 2014


TENCEL® fiber

TENCEL® short-cut

TENCEL® - ideal for wipes and care wipes
With the cellulose fiber TENCEL® as a short-cut type, Lenzing is satisfying the trend of the times in the nonwovens industry. The fiber is biodegradable and strong and yet it is still “flushable”, ideal for high quality wipes and care wipes.
Convenience and sustainability are not a contradiction with TENCEL®The market for wipes will grow by 6.5% per year.1 In an increasing number of households one can find practical wipes for hygiene and care applications and the trend is on the rise. Many wipes are disposed of in the toilet whether they are “flushable” or not which leads to problems with blockages in public sewage systems. This is the very reason why industry is looking into this problem and demanding new production technologies. With TENCEL®, Lenzing supplies a raw material which is of botanic origin, contains no additives, and is biodegradable. When processed in the right way, practical wipes can be produced which comply with the convenience mindset of consumers and are, at the same time, biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
More quality with TENCEL® for a wipe with a “flushable” function
“Flushable” wipes from TENCEL® stand out due to their high quality. Due to the enormous fiber strength, the TENCEL® wipe is particularly tear-resistant in contrast to the materials conventionally used such as pulp and short-cut viscose. The high strength of the TENCEL® fiber also reduces the use of binding agents which are mostly made of acrylic, latex or bi-component fibers. Another advantage of TENCEL® compared to short-cut viscose is that due to the higher strength profile, fewer fibers are required for a comparable quality than in a wipe of short-cut viscose.
“Quality does not, however, only mean enhanced service properties but also refers to the skin-friendly attributes of TENCEL®. The fiber has already demonstrated in tests that it is particularly well suited to sensitive skin,” Dr. Dieter Eichinger, head of the Hytec market segment (hygiene, home and technical textiles) at Lenzing explains.
“The exceptionally smooth surface of TENCEL® makes the fiber ideal for the skin and prevents skin irritations. For this reason, wipes of TENCEL® are particularly smooth and gentle on the skin,” Eichinger argues.
TENCEL® perfect for new technology The merging of paper and spun-laced technology will revolutionize the market for wipes. Short-cut TENCEL® is ideally suited to this application and due to its properties, it will play a key role in the development of “flushable” wipes particularly with this technology. “Here the fiber strength of TENCEL® also plays a vital role,” Eichinger is positive.
Certificates confirm the sustainability of TENCEL®
Environmental certificates such as the EU-Ecolabel, Nordic Swan, OK biodegradable from Viocotte or Ecocert demonstrate the environmentally responsible production of TENCEL®. ”In particular the botanic origin of TENCEL® and the sustainable production of the fiber fit perfectly with the current consumer demands and are vital for the production of disposable wipes,” Elisabeth Stanger, Head of Hygiene at Lenzing, is convinced.
The Future of Flushable Nonwovens Market Forecasts to 2018, Philip Mango Source: Smithers Apex

Click here for a comprehensive review of flushability developments before 2004 

Tencel marketed as Eurocel™? (2014)

Due to the sustainable and high quality production of fiber material at Lenzing and Sandler’s innovative strength, a wipe has now been created which is extremely skin-friendly.
There's no mention of Tencel in the following release from Lenzing but it looks like another marketing angle being tried in advance of the new 67,000 tonne lyocell plant coming on stream in Austria and the increasing availability of Chinese lyocell, including a version from bamboo pulp. (Does "Combination" suggests a blend with viscose or collaboration with Sandler?)

Eurocel™ - new fiber combination with a European foot print

Just in time for the fair Index, April 8.-11. 2014, Geneva, Lenzing is presenting a new fiber concept for the nonwovens industry.
European Innovation 
Eurocel™ is a European product through and through. The cellulose fibers used are made in Austria in an environmentally responsible process. Eurocel™ is based on the idea of offering a high quality European product to consumers. Sandler, a German nonwovens manufacturer partner, adopted the idea of Eurocel™ and developed a new product for their customers. “We are well known for quickly putting our ideas into practice and we immediately recognized the potential of Eurocel™ for the European market,” Dr. Ulrich Hornfeck, member of the Sandler management board, explains. Due to the sustainable and high quality production of fiber material at Lenzing and Sandler’s innovative strength, a wipe has now been created which is extremely skin-friendly. The advantages of Eurocel™ go very well with the concept of the German nonwoven manufacturer, Sandler, who have their company headquarters at the center of Europe. “Production in Europe translates into shorter delivery distances which means fewer carbon dioxide emissions during transportation and thus a lower carbon footprint,” Hornfeck comments. Apart from the logistical advantages, Hornfeck also names the improved product properties, such as the improved volume, the higher tear resistance and reduced elongation.
Future Europe
“The goal is to persuade other nonwoven manufacturers of this European idea and offer a convenience care product which complies with today’s consumer demands: sustainable, natural, and high quality,” Elisabeth Stanger, head of the Hygiene Business Segment, explains.
Eurocel™ can be certified with Oeko-Tex Standard 100, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, European Ecolabel, Compostable (DIN CERTCO), Vinçotte OK compost HOME, Vinçotte OK compost, Vinçotte OK bio-degradable SOIL, Medically tested / ITV Denkendorf, US BPI compostable certificate and Food Contact Compliance Certification.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tencel Skin gets INDEX Marketing Award (2014)

Most Original Marketing Campaign: Industry prize for Lenzing at the INDEX™14 Trade Fair in Geneva

Tuesday, 15. April 2014

from left to right:
Lenzing CEO Peter Untersperger accepted the prize at the INDEX™14, the largest specialized trade fair for nonwovens held in Geneva from April 8-11, 2014
The prize was awarded by EDANA, the international professional association for the nonwovens industry, which honors the most outstanding achievements in the sector each year.
Nonwovens represents the technical term for nonwoven materials used in the production of hygienic, medical and cosmetics products. Consumers are aware of such products, for example baby wipes made of Lenzing fibers. Nonwoven products are also manufactured from oil-based fibers such as polyester. The advantages of Lenzing fibers in the nonwovens business include their production from the natural raw material wood and above all the biodegradability of the material.
TENCEL® Skin is a specialty fiber developed by Lenzing for this segment, and stands out for being so skin-friendly. The EDANA jury justified its award for the TENCEL® Skin marketing campaign “particularly due to the high aesthetic and artistic standards of the campaign video, which clearly and vividly demonstrates the advantages of the fiber to people and simultaneously explains the most important properties of the fiber”.
“TENCEL® Skin was specifically developed for use in facial masks, which are especially popular on the Asian market. The smooth fiber surface creates a silky feeling” states Elisabeth Stanger, Global Director Business Development Hygiene. “The unique structure provides optimal absorbance and ideal conditions for skin nourishing lotion with which the material is enriched. TENCEL® Skin is of botanic origin, and is produced by Lenzing from the sustainable raw material wood.”

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Summary of Statistics as the site passes 50,000 page views

Page Views by Country
United States
United Kingdom


Oct 23, 2013, 3 comments

Apr 19, 2014, 19 comments
Dec 18, 2013, 7 comments

Feb 16, 2013

Nov 23, 2012
Apr 20, 2014
N.B. These stats are likely to be an underestimate because 5 posts are viewable by scrolling down the first page.  This counts as one view.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

EIB loans Lenzing Eu100M for Tencel (2014)

Monday, 03. February 2014

Peter Untersperger, CEO Lenzing, Wilhelm Molterer, Vice President of the EIB and Patric Thate, Head of Finance Lenzing
With a EUR 100m loan, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is co-financing the research and development (R&D) activities and investment in TENCEL® fibre production of Lenzing AG. This company, which specialises in the industrial manufacture of cellulose fibres, is implementing a multi-annual development programme for new, high-quality TENCEL® products. The loan contract was signed by the EIB and Lenzing today in Vienna.
The TENCEL® fibres manufactured industrially from wood (a renewable raw material) are used primarily in the textile industry, but also for nonwoven materials and technical applications. Lenzing is the only manufacturer in the world that has mastered the technology for producing this latest generation of cellulose fibres on a large industrial scale. These fibres are particularly eco-friendly: TENCEL® fibres leave a much smaller environmental footprint than cotton, for example. Lenzing markets these fibres under the brand name TENCEL®. Their qualities include high wet and dry strength, softness and optimum moisture absorption capacity.
The loan provided by the EIB will contribute to the financing of a multi-annual R&D programme undertaken by the company, which includes the construction and operation of new research facilities and pilot plants and the deployment of process innovations. Most of these activities will be carried out at the company’s site in Austria.
The loan is being provided to Lenzing under a financing programme implemented jointly by the EIB and the European Commission. This so-called Risk-Sharing Finance Facility is an innovative instrument for sharing credit risks. It is aimed at improving access to external financing for private companies and public institutions promoting projects in the fields of R&D, demonstration and innovation. The financing of R&D activities is one of the EIB’s top priorities. In the past year alone, its total lending in this area amounted to EUR 15.6bn.
At the signing of the loan contract, Wilhelm Molterer, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending operations in Austria, stated, “Today, Lenzing is a technology leader in the field of man-made cellulose fibres, thanks in part to its ambitious research and development activities. It is companies like Lenzing that are making a decisive contribution to Europe's innovative and competitive strength. Financing of industrial research is one of the EIB’s core tasks.
Lenzing’s CEO, Peter Untersperger, commented, “This partnership with the European Investment Bank is a great tribute to the achievements of our company, particularly our research and development work. We are already operating three pilot TENCEL® plants in Europe in order to continue improving the technology and its range of applications. We still see considerable potential for growth in the future which must be explored now, as the demand for high-quality fibres manufactured in environmentally compatible processes will continue to increase.”

(Lenzing Press Release - Feb 3rd)